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FIRST AMENDMENT

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U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Appeal On Taping Illinois Law Enforcement

via Chicago Sun-Times The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected an Illinois prosecutor’s plea to allow enforcement of a law aimed at stopping people from recording police officers on the job. The justices on Monday left in place a lower court ruling that found that the state’s anti-eavesdropping law violates free speech rights when used against … Continue reading

San Francisco Moves To Ban Public Nudity

via Lisa Leff, Christian Science Monitor San Francisco lawmakers disappointed committed nudists last week by narrowly approving a ban on public nakedness despite concerns the measure would undermine the city’s reputation as a sanctuary for free expression. The Board of Supervisors voted 6-5 in favor of a public safety ordinance that prohibits exposed genitals in … Continue reading

75% Of Montana Voters Say ‘Corporations Aren’t People Too’

via Erin Fuchs, Business Insider A whopping 75 percent of Montana’s voters approved an initiative Tuesday stating corporations are not people. Montana voters specifically said “corporations are not entitled to constitutional rights because they are not human beings,” Courthouse News Service reported. The measure was a stinging rebuke to the U.S. Supreme Court’s June decision … Continue reading

Appeals Court Upholds Block On Graphic Cigarette Warnings

via Michael Felberbaum, ABC News A federal appeals court on Friday upheld a decision barring the federal government from requiring tobacco companies to put large graphic health warnings on cigarette packages to show that smoking can disfigure and even kill people. In a 2-1 decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington affirmed a lower … Continue reading

Obama Signs The Honoring America’s Veterans Act, Restricting Westboro Military Funeral Protests

via Nick Wing, The Huffington Post President Barack Obama signed the Honoring America’s Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012 into law last week, providing a wide-ranging package of benefits to military personnel and enacting new restrictions on protests of service member funerals. “We have a moral sacred duty to our men … Continue reading

Lying Online No Longer Misdemeanor in Rhode Island

via Associated Press, The Washington Post If you’ve ever lied to a potential Internet date about your weight, texted your spouse that you were someplace you weren’t or emailed mom to say how much you love that ugly new sweater, you were breaking the law if you did it in Rhode Island. But state lawmakers … Continue reading

U.S. Supreme Court Rules ‘Citizens United’ Applies To States

via The Associated Press, NPR The Supreme Court on Monday reaffirmed its 2-year-old decision allowing corporations to spend freely to influence elections. The justices struck down a Montana law limiting corporate campaign spending. By a 5-4 vote, the court’s conservative justices said the decision in the Citizens United case in 2010 applies to state campaign … Continue reading

Facebook “Likes” Aren’t Speech Protected By The First Amendment

via Venkat Balasubramani and Eric Goldman, ARS Technica This post references a case decided by the US District Court of Eastern Virginia, Bland v. Roberts, 2012 Bland and his cohorts worked in the Hampton Sheriff’s Office, under B.J. Roberts. Roberts ran for re-election against Jim Adams, and the plaintiffs were lukewarm in their support of Roberts. … Continue reading

How To Beat Citizens United

via E.J. Dionne Jr., The New York Times We are about to have the worst presidential campaign money can buy. The Supreme Court’s dreadful Citizens United decision and a somnolent Federal Election Commission will allow hundreds of millions of dollars from a small number of very wealthy people and interests to inundate our airwaves with … Continue reading

Protecting Face-To-Face Protest

via Ronald J. Krotoszynski, The New York Times Every four years, we witness the spectacle of the presidential nominating conventions. And every four years, host cities, party leaders and police officials devise ever more creative ways of distancing protesters from the politicians, delegates and journalists attending these stage-managed affairs. The goal is to trivialize and … Continue reading

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